I’ve asked a lot of them to show a little bit of character now and run with a bit more desire than we are at present, says Eltham Palace boss Lloyd Bradley
ELTHAM PALACE manager Lloyd Bradley says his players need to improve their fitness as they come to terms with life in their new surroundings.
Eltham Palace suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Sporting Club Thamesmead on Friday night, as the home side sealed the game with goals in the 70th and 90th minutes.
“We had a frank exchange in the (changing room) with the players and we need to be fitter,” said Bradley, whose side have now played six league games in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.
“Our fitness levels aren’t quite good enough at the moment. We need some key players to come back to freshen us up a little bit and give us a little bit more steel within the group.”
Bradley was without striker Billy Shinners on Friday night because he was attending a family meal to celebrate his aunts 60th birthday.
Bradley demands more commitment from his players, most of whom were playing in the Kent County League Premier Division last season.
“I don’t think we’ve had a good pre-season for various reasons, players attending weddings and stag weekends,” he said.
“A lot of them are friends, when one has a stag do you tend to lose six or seven players, when in the old days two knew each other so you’d lose two or three and we’re losing them on mass even for the friendlies we played.
“I know this level, it’s just a case you do need to dedicate yourself a little bit more. Your fitness levels need to be better.
“You’re going to play more games so you have to look after yourself much more. In the Kent County League if you play 36 games it wouldn’t be the same intensity. You’d have a training session and play every Saturday. It’s only the end of the season, if you have a fixture pile-up if you’ve done well in the cups, you’d have midweek games and we’d normally moan to the league when they were giving us three or four games a week and we’re doing this now as a norm now.”
Bradley takes his side to play newly-promoted Snodland Town tomorrow, a side that are in the top eight with a 50% record from their opening four games at this level.
“They’re a good, strong side and they’ve got good strikers that take their chances. That will be key, how we defend again and if we defend like we did on Friday we’re probably going to get beat,” said Bradley.
“We need to do much better than them because their target men are more than just agricultural, they just don’t play with just a long ball. They have a bit more about their style, a good midfield, good passing movements and they’re really solid.
“It will be a tough game for us, especially on the back of six games in such a short space of time. The seventh game could be one game too many.
“We often have a good response when the chips are down, the boys tend to dig in. I’ve asked a lot of them to show a little bit of character now and run with a bit more desire than we are at present.”
Snodland Town v Eltham Palace
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Potyn’s Sports Field, Paddlesworth Road, Snodland, Kent ME6 5DP